Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia) - a spectacular bushy perennial plant of the Aroid family (Araceae) with beautiful variegated foliage. The popular name of the plant is the light. Dieffenbachia can reach 2 meters in height, but the lower part of the trunk is gradually exposed, as a result of which the plant loses its attractiveness. Despite some whimsicality, it is often used for landscaping interiors (cultivated for 150 years). Read about the features of growing this indoor plant in the article.
- Dieffenbachia growing conditions - briefly about everything
- Home care for dieffenbachia
- Propagation of Dieffenbachia
- Diseases and pests of Dieffenbachia
- Types of Dieffenbachia
Dieffenbachia growing conditions - briefly about everything
Dieffenbachia has a thick, juicy stem, more reminiscent of a tree trunk, which carries a hat of large variegated leaves. The growth point is at the top of the shoot, but some species are capable of scrubbing. In this case, the sleeping kidneys awaken at the base of the dieffenbachia shoot, and sometimes located higher.
The plant requires the following growing conditions:
Lighting. Shading in summer, good lighting in winter. In a too dark place, the leaves become smaller, and the plant loses its decorative appeal. Dieffenbachia will grow well under the protection of a tulle curtain near the east or west window.
Watering dieffenbachia. Abundant from spring to autumn, moderate in winter. The soil is kept moist at all times, but should not be too moist. When watering with too hard water, the tips of the leaves turn brown.
Propagation of dieffenbachia. Trunk trimmings of 5-7 cm, which are rooted at soil heating at 30 ° C. Some forms give offspring shoots that cut and root. To rejuvenate the plant, the top with a part of the trunk is cut off, it is well rooted.
Air humidity. Dieffenbachia loves very humid air; regular spraying and washing of leaves is required. Before spraying, make sure that the room is warm and doesn’t “blow out”, otherwise it can harm the plant. If the room is about 18 ° C, it is better not to spray, but simply periodically wipe with a damp sponge.
Transplant dieffenbachia. Annually in spring - better in late April. Soil is a mixture of sod (4 parts), leaf (1 part), peat (1 part) and sand (1 part). Dieffenbachia refers to fast-growing plants, but due to the fact that the plants grow quite large, transplantation is difficult, in this case it is advisable to replace the top layer of the earth with very nutritious soil. It would be nice to add some charcoal to the soil.
Feeding dieffenbachia. In the period from May to August, fertilizing with complex fertilizer every two weeks. In autumn and winter they do not feed. With a lack of nutrients, the trunk below is exposed much faster.
Pruning. It does not need, when pulling the plant, the top can be clipped.
Home care for dieffenbachia
Dieffenbachia, the care of which at home presents some difficulties, is still not as capricious as is commonly believed. Dieffenbachia flower does not tolerate sharp temperature fluctuations. The most acceptable ambient temperature is + 20..25 ° C. In winter, no lower than + 17 ° C. The best humidity is 70-80%, so the leaves should be often sprayed and washed every two weeks.
This plant loves fresh air, but does not tolerate drafts. In summer she feels good on the balcony, if there you can find a shady corner for her, and the rooms where Dieffenbachia lives should be regularly ventilated.
Spotted Dieffenbachia loves the light, but does not tolerate open sunlight, so in winter it should be kept in bright light, and in summer in partial shade. There are varieties of Dieffenbachia, which are quite shade-tolerant, which allows them to be used in dimly lit interiors.
The soil in the Dieffenbachia pot should always be moist, but not too wet. Waterlogging of the soil at especially low temperatures is especially dangerous. This can cause decay of the roots and stems of the plant. Warm, settled water is suitable for irrigation. During the growth period, from spring to autumn, Dieffenbachia should be fed with fertilizers from time to time, and in winter, watering and top dressing should be reduced, but the earthen coma should not dry out in the pot.
In the rooms, some dieffenbachia can grow up to 2 meters, and when watering is insufficient, the lower leaves fall and the plant becomes like a palm tree. In the old plant, the lower leaves die off and dry out, which is natural, and there is nothing to worry about. If the appearance of a plant with a bare stem does not suit you, cut the stem to a height of 10 centimeters from the root, Dieffenbachia will give a young shoot, and the top can be rooted.
Dieffenbachia, the transplantation of which became necessary due to a suspension of growth or due to plant disease, is transplanted into a new pot with an earthen mixture consisting of turf, peat soil and sand in a ratio of 2: 4: 1. In this case, damaged areas are cleaned and treated with charcoal. Scheduled dieffenbachia is transplanted annually in the spring. At the same time, the size of the pot is increased, and at the bottom of the pot do not forget to put drainage from broken brick, etc.
Propagation of Dieffenbachia
You can use two methods of propagation dieffenbachia.
- apical shoot with leaveswhich is cut off from the top of the plant;
- pieces of stem about 5-7 cm long, which is used as a stem stalk.
Some dieffenbachia give lateral shoots, which can also be used for rooting. The soil for cuttings should consist of peat and sand (1: 1). To root, you need a temperature of at least + 25 ° C and high humidity, so seedlings are covered with a jar or polyethylene, moderately watered and sprayed. When the seedlings take root and let out leaves, they are planted in a permanent place.
Diseases and pests of Dieffenbachia
With poor lighting and violation of the irrigation regime, Dieffenbachia loses its decorativeness and begins to hurt. So, when the soil dries, cold drafts or at low temperature, the leaves turn yellow and dry. If the lighting is too bright or when it is exposed to direct sunlight, the leaves change color and brown spots may appear on them.
Dieffenbachia, whose diseases are caused by these causes, should be moved to a less lit, warmer place - where there are no drafts. The plant should be watered on time, and the leaves should be sprayed and washed with warm water.
Despite the fact that Dieffenbachia sap is poisonous, this plant is affected by pests - spider mites and scale insects. Occasionally, it can be affected by aphids.
Spider mite - a very small red spider. Appears on the underside of Dieffenbachia leaves and envelops them with thin white cobwebs. It is destroyed by spraying and washing the leaves, especially on the underside, with water, a weak tobacco infusion with green soap, treatment with systemic drugs - acaricides. When washing the leaves with infusions with green soap after 2-3 hours, the leaves should be washed with warm water.
Read more about combating spider mites in the article: Spider mite is an omnipresent pest.
Scutellum, or shield aphid got its name from the waxy shield that covers the body of an adult pest. At first, at a young age, the scabbard is invisible, but multiplies rapidly, covering the stems and leaves with dark spots. Adult individuals are motionless and sit under shields, from under which larvae crawl out and spread throughout the plant.
Adult pests along with the shields are removed with a wet swab, but you still need to treat the entire plant with an insecticide to remove the larvae.
Read more about the fight against scale insects on indoor plants in the article: We save plants from scale insects and false shields.
Aphid - a small insect can be green, gray or black in color. It settles on the underside of Dieffenbachia leaf and feeds on the sap of plants, which leads to drying and folding of the leaves. It multiplies rapidly. It is destroyed by insecticides that are sold in stores or with nicotine sulfate solutions in water and soap in a ratio of 1 g. nicotine sulfate per 1 liter of soapy water.
After processing the plants, Dieffenbachia should be washed well in a day, covering the soil with polyethylene. If necessary, repeat the treatment.
Types of Dieffenbachia
Today, there are about 30 species of Dieffenbachia, but the most common are Dieffenbachia spottedshe Dieffenbachia Seguin (Dieffenbachia seguine), Dieffenbachia Bauze (Dieffenbachia bausei) and Dieffenbachia Oersted (Dieffenbachia oerstedii).
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